Green tomatoes? But I want them to be ripe!

10/19/2011 at 3:17 pm 3 comments

So many green tomatoes.

This year has been cold and wet, and boy, did the garden notice. I’ve got a raised bed full of not-so-cherry tomatoes — in fact, I’d say they are simply green tomatoes. As fall winds down, Extension has heard “Can I ripen green tomatoes?” more than once.

An OSU Extension article (here) says the answer is yes. There are two caveats: First, you have to pick the tomatoes before the Oregon rain hits and they turn to mush. Second, the tomatoes have to be mature. How to tell? Cut it open. If the inside is yellowish and jelly-like, it’s mature. If you can easily cut through the seeds and the pulp is not jelly-like, it’s not mature.

These yellow bell tomatoes look more like green bells!

I think the rain may have gotten to my tomatoes, but say it hasn’t. To ripen, I could wrap them in newspaper or put them in a box (not touching each other), and wait. In 3-4 weeks, they should ripen.

If you want to try to ripen the tomatoes on the vine (and you live in the western part of the state), Ross Penhallegon, who does a regular gardening segment for KEZI 9 in Eugene, has a great video on how you can insulate the plants until a frost.

Of course, green tomatoes have value too. You can always cook up fry, stuff, spice or pickle them.

But I do love my yellow, orange and red tomato salad. Seeing as the worst-case scenario is that the tomatoes don’t get ripe, I think I’ll give this a try. Stay tuned for my results.

~Rachel

Entry filed under: Cooking and eating, Gardening. Tags: , , , , , .

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